We’ve seen some cases in the past of Google Earth being used to fight marijuana growing activities, such as this case back in 2009 and the various cases in California last year, but the most recent case out of Oregon is the most direct.
According to CNET, it all started when the man was bragging about his plants:
Apparently, the police caught word that Curtis W. Croft had been bragging about the prodigious weed crops he had been cultivating on his property. Checking out Google Earth, the police saw what looked to be satellite images of rows and rows of plants.
After verifying the crops with an aircraft, the Rogue Area Drug Enforcement Team was able to arrest Croft, who was allegedly growing roughly three times as many plants as he was allowed to propagate. According to the Grants Pass Daily Courier, Croft was arraigned on drug charges and released.
Based on information I found on the Grants Pass Daily Courier front page (the full article is hidden behind a paywall), this may be the imagery in question:
Here is the KML file to fly there yourself and check it out. Do you think that’s the imagery they’re referring to?
As Google Earth imagery continues to become more frequently updated and higher resolution, I expect we’ll hear of many more cases like this one.
For more on this story, check out the full article over on CNET.